Two-time former titlist Novak Djokovic suffered a 2-6, 6-3, 5-7 quarter-final upset at the hands of no.10 seed David Goffin in a two-hour, 35-minute match at the Monte-Carlo Rolex Masters on Friday.
Goffin broke serve twice, in the first and fifth games, to clinch the 30-minute opener.
Novak raised his game and pressed the Belgian to take the second set and ensure a decider.
The 29-year-old Serb took control in the early stages of the third set, but Goffin recovered from a 2-4 deficit and sealed the victory on his fifth match point in a dramatic final game.
Novak converted two of his nine break point chances, while the Belgian capitalised on four of his 17 break point opportunities.
“I started slowly probably because I played two long matches,” said Djokovic. “But I thought as the match progressed I was feeling okay. I was physically fine. We had a lot of exchanges, a lot of rallies. David is playing very quick. He’s a fast player. I thought I played very, very well for a set and a half, from the start of the second set. Then that unfortunate game when I dropped my serve, the match turned around. I had my chances, I definitely did. I just didn’t use them.”
Match statistics: aces (4-3), double faults (4-2), winners (37-29), unforced errors (38-35), total points won (105-105).
Nole will next play at the Mutua Madrid Open to be held from May 07-May 14.
The 12-time Grand Slam champion lifted the trophy twice in the capital of Spain, in 2011 and 2016. Last year he beat Andy Murray in the final (6-2, 3-6, 6-3).
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